The shape of things to come

We are seeing a political singularity – the leftwards slide that has been under way since 1710 or so is going faster and faster.

Many people have already commented on the ludicrous absurdity of calling 1% cuts in a budget that rose 27% in three years, “drastic”. Supposedly this makes the Tea Party not merely conservative, but “ultra conservative”.
If the tea party is ultra conservative, what then would we call someone who attempted to restore the status quo of 2004? Super fanatical ultra nazi right wing extremist?

In the blogs people are presenting the usual Keynesian rationalizations for spending money that we do not have – but the Keynesian rationalization assumes that goods are going unsold and that we have deflation, whereas in reality there has been no deflation and we are starting to see empty shelves that can only be filled at substantially higher prices, foreshadowing rapid inflation soon. We have already seen substantial inflation that the US government is lying about, and the dire state of the supply chain foreshadows a lot more inflation. The Keynesian excuse for big spending, if it ever had any validity, has no validity today. It looks to me very much as if an inflationary shock is coming down the overly tight supply chain on top of the already disturbing rate of inflation – not a hyperinflationary shock – that is probably a decade or so down the road, but shocking enough.

We are not seeing a technological singularity. Technological change slowed down in 1970, at about the same time as political correctness started to be enforced on science and scientists by increasingly drastic means. The last man on the moon left in 1972. The tallest building in the united states was finished in 1974. Cars are becoming humbler. The history of science was abruptly rewritten in 1972, with natural selection being deprecated. Instead of Darwin being famous for natural selection, after 1972 he was supposedly famous for common descent, which necessitated common descent being removed from Lamarck. Lamarck was abruptly rewritten so that after 1972, he supposedly had proposed separate and parallel evolution instead of branching evolution with family resemblances between species resulting from common descent, though you can still get his original books from the internet archive.

That which cannot continue, will stop. Trees do not grow to the sky. This does not, however, necessarily mean that freedom will be restored and everything will be lovely. The last time we had theocracy, we had stagnation for four hundred years.

The explosive expansion of spending and regulation represents a collapse of discipline within the ruling elite. The way the system is supposed to work, and the way it mostly did work several decades ago, is that the American Federal Government can only spend money on something if the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President agree to spend money on that thing, so no government employee can be employed, except all three agree he should be employed, so the government cannot do anything unless all three agree that it be done.  A public servant, and indeed his entire department, was apt to be fired if he pissed off anyone. Conversely, the individual was free to do anything, unless all three agree that he be stopped from doing that thing. We are now approaching the reverse situation, where for an individual to do anything requires a pile of permissions from diverse governmental authorities, but any governmental authority can spend money on anything unless there is near unanimous opposition to them spending money.

Obviously this cannot continue. Eventually the money runs out, in that we shall have a hyperinflationary crisis, and revert to some other form of money, such as the gold standard. As that happens, the increasily lawless behavior of the rulers against the ruled will become increasingly lawless behavior of the rulers against each other. Civil war, or something close to civil war, or the dire and immediate threat of civil war will ensue.

At that point, we will have the political singularity, probably around 2025 or so. Beyond the singularity, no predictions can be made, other than that the results will be surprising. It is possible that tax producers will win over tax consumers. I hope for that outcome. The alternative is centuries of poverty and stagnation.  Whether it is probable, I cannot say. Such an outcome, however, necessitates the ending of democracy with universal franchise, since tax consumers substantially outnumber and outvote tax producers.

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6 Responses to “The shape of things to come”

  1. […] stands in opposition to it as some degree of good. So when I first heard the notion of a “left singularity” (hat tip Dennis Mangan), it made sense on a number of […]

  2. […] on their late 90s website. Feeling down. Who is going to stop people from ruling others by being holier than thou if not them? I guess the Catholic Church will not do as a replacement for the Anglican […]

  3. […] Jim’s Blog, a post on the notion of Left Singularity has spurred some excellent discussion on the subject. Jim […]

  4. […] to the punch by two years: he first described what he calls a “Left Singularity” in a post from April 2011, and has returned to the metaphor several times since then. (Nothing about tidal forces, […]

  5. Alrenous says:

    “t is possible that tax producers will win over tax consumers. […] The alternative is centuries of poverty and stagnation. Whether it is probable, I cannot say.”

    You seem to have neglected balkanization. The first world is a big place, and by far the most likely result is both. Civil war – between you and MM I consider it highly likely – will, just by starting, destroy the forces imposing a coherent society across all that land.

    • jim says:

      Balkanization would mean that freedom and the ideals of America would survive somewhere – a very cheering outcome. But a free society surrounded by unfree societies to be economically viable, it needs access to the sea, which is a problem, since the areas most likely to seek to preserve freedom or the old ways are inland. For such a state to be viable, would need to seize one of the port cities, which are apt to contain a hostile welfare dependent population.

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